Zimbabwe News

Mnangagwa hosts lavish dinner for Sengezo Tshabangu at State House

First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa hosted a dinner for Sengezo Tshabangu and Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) MPs loyal to him, with guests treated to a sumptuous meal and expensive whiskies.

The Standard reported sources as saying Vice President Constantino Chiwenga was “ambushed” and made the guest of honour at the dinner where ZANU PF and CCC MPs pledged loyalty to the Mnangagwas.

The parliamentarians reportedly agreed to make Auxillia their ambassador and ensure that she takes an official position in Parliament.

A source, who attended the dinner was cited as saying the dinner is part of a campaign to solidify President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s bid to extend his rule beyond 2028. Said the source:

The plan now is to simultaneously extend the term of the current Parliament and that of the president to 2030.

Alternatively, the other plan is to de-harmonise the elections with the next presidential election scheduled for 2030. It’s all a work in progress.

The MPs also agreed to support Auxillia becoming the women’s ambassador, and not only that but to become the leader of the women’s caucus in Parliament.

Chiwenga was put in an invidious position because he harbours presidential ambitions, and he was left livid as he was ambushed since he was the guest of honour to support Mnangagwa’s 2030 bid and that of Auxillia as women’s ambassador.

Tshabangu confirmed the Friday dinner at State House hosted by Auxillia for CCC and ZANU PF MPs. He told The Standard:

It was a dinner for female legislators for both parties, and of course, as leaders of the respective parties we had to attend as well.

We were not chanting slogans. Of course, not all MPs attended the dinner because of various commitments, but it was a dinner to host female legislators from both parties.

Female legislators indeed agreed to make the First Lady their ambassador to champion the women’s cause.

There is really nothing sinister about that, but we are simply copying what Malawi is doing where their first lady is a women’s ambassador.

Going forward, the First Lady would assume a parliamentary position to champion women’s cause as their leader.

ZANU PF chief whip Pupurai Togarepi also confirmed the dinner and its outcomes. He said:

The women’s caucus, women parliamentarians across the political divide had dinner with the first lady following the request to meet with her.

The honourable women parliamentarians requested the first lady to be the ambassador on issues of interest to women and women parliamentarians in particular.

This is a common trend in many countries that women parliamentarians request their first ladies to be their ambassadors.

Members just wanted to appreciate what the First Lady is doing to advance the interest of women in healthcare, culture, and empowerment.

In their message to the first lady, women parliamentarians said she was better placed to raise their issues with the government and with the various international organisations she works with.

Tshabangu took control of CCC in October 2023 with the assistance of state institutions.

He subsequently recalled CCC Members of Parliament and councillors aligned with Chamisa, effectively aiding ZANU PF in securing a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly.

Later, Tshabangu appointed himself as a Senator and assumed the role of Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, once again in collaboration with the State.

He is now set to receive more than US$1 million from the State under the Political Parties Finance Act.

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